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 What is a War Hero?

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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: What is a War Hero?   Tue Jul 21, 2015 12:31 am

With all the rhetoric about Trump’s comments concerning John McCain and whether he is a war hero is causing much controversy.  It asks the question:  What is a war hero?
Is it someone who was taken prisoner?  If that were the case, then every prisoner of war would be considered a hero.  Would that include those who threw up their hands and surrendered make them a hero?  An example of a war hero in my view was Audi Murphy.  Ann wrote a book about him.  In my mind, a hero is someone who risked his life to save the lives of his comrades or performed an action to the risk of his life for the benefit of his unit.  There must be other actions that define a hero.
Yesterday I watched some videos about John McCain narrated by Veterans who knew and served with him.  Their outspoken comments were not complimentary, but rather painted him as an irresponsible person who when captured “Sang like a bird.”   As the son of an Admiral, McCain was an important prisoner and heavily interrogated.  It is said that he was used to make propaganda films for the enemy.  There was an effort to declassify documents relating to this period of time and McCain’s record.  The declassification was strongly opposed by McCain and even John Kerry.  Declassification of documents would seem appropriate unless there is something to hide. 
 
We don’t know what happened and can only make assumptions based on what we hear.  I’m inclined to give credence to people who knew him well and served with him.  If they would not vote for him or support a fellow Veteran, there must be a good reason.  Trying to disparage a Veteran, especially by someone who avoided serving, like Trump, is stupid.   What motive would Trump have to trash another person?
 
It is said that McCain was a reckless flyer and responsible for the destruction/damage of several aircraft.  It is a valid concern for a person like McCain to become President.  Is he vulnerable to blackmail?  The Russians were involved with interrogations conducted during the Vietnam War.  They sought information from prisoners who had knowledge about our military.  It would seem that the son of an Admiral would have more knowledge than most. 
 
Nothing that I have written about can be proven.  Making it a political issue ignites questions that require answers.   Is McCain a war hero?  Does it matter?
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Shelagh
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PostSubject: Re: What is a War Hero?   Tue Jul 21, 2015 2:32 am

I don't think it is for the public to decide. Those who face combat as part of their everyday life are in a much better position to decide about acts of heroism. Medals are seldom awarded to undeserving service men and women. Don has four purple hearts; I am certain every one was earned with valour. Questioning the hero status of a recognised war hero is silly.

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Don Stephens
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PostSubject: Re: What is a War Hero?   Tue Jul 21, 2015 6:30 am

Any person that puts on the uniform and over comes their fear when under fire is a hero.
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: What is a War Hero?   Tue Jul 21, 2015 7:39 am

Years ago I was in a seminar and the subject of courage and fear was discussed.  The answer given stuck with me.
"Courage is required in the face of fear.  Where fear doesn't exist, courage is not required."
An example was given.  A frontline solder is asked to cross an open field and destroy a machinegun next.  He is seized with fear and it takes courage to act.  If he knew he could walk across that open field and nothing would happen to him there would be no fear or courage required.

As Don stated: "Overcoming fear under fire takes courage and I believe that is heroic.
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Al Stevens
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PostSubject: Re: What is a War Hero?   Tue Jul 21, 2015 11:48 am

Tribblehead Trump's motive is clear: Keep his face in the public eye and cater to a demographic that wishes to maintain the status quo with respect to social issues. He realizes no political gain by disrespecting McCain, who isn't an opponent, but he keeps showing up the news. That's what he wants. And before we dismiss him, look at his polling data. Interesting times.
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Al Stevens
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PostSubject: Re: What is a War Hero?   Tue Jul 21, 2015 11:54 am

Before I can define a war hero, I must define a hero. It's someone I look up to, not always for battlefield heroism. McCain's not one of my heroes. He adjusts positions based on how many votes it will garner, which makes him about as admirable as Trump.

McCain was big on campaign finance reform until he had to finance a national campaign, whereupon he got kind of quiet on the subject. That's not heroism, that's an abandonment of the courage of one's convictions.
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: What is a War Hero?   Tue Jul 21, 2015 12:16 pm

Al, any respect I have for McCain was lost when he chose Palin as his running mate.  Being a hothead and showing lack of judgement with a VP would have placed us all in jeopardy.  Just imagine a VP like Palin one heartbeat from the Presidency.  I shudder thinking about it.

As for Trump, I think he is enjoying the spotlight and shaking the pot.  His wealth gives him the space to do most anything he wants.  I can't imagine anyone taking him seriously as President, although I could be wrong when I think about GWB.  The voters are easily persuaded as long as you use the word, "God" in your speech.  With Trump, that word would be followed with a Dam.
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